On the outside, many Christian colleges seem like they are holding fast to sound doctrine, standing strong against the cultural storm. On the surface, their public statements make it seem as though they offer a safe harbor for Christian young adults to receive a quality education.
Except when it’s actually a sham.
Here are two recent examples that were reported to the ministry by students at Biola University.
Women’s History Month
During the month of March 2021, this display appeared in one of the dorms on campus at Biola University. It was in celebration of Women’s History Month.
Sidebar: I wonder what it’s like to be a young man and see this kind of messaging, that women run the world. I wonder what their experience is like. Is this a microaggression for them? Or, what about the messaging to women: that soon the women running the world, will actually be men. This messaging is so confusing and problematic—but I digress.
I know the pictures are a bit blurry, so let me help interpret them for you.
However…. The display also featured Patricia Velasquez, a “First Latina Lesbian Supermodel” (author, Straight Walk) and Laverne Cox, as the first transgender person to be nominated for a primetime Emmy.
Out of curiosity, I scanned the QR code for the suggested resources. It went to this web site. (UPDATE: As of the publication of this post on 4/29/21, this web site was still active. It was removed, however, within 12 hours of this post going live.)
In case you can’t read it, here is the description:
These articles have been selected by SoHo staff members in order to educate our community on women's history. We hope that these articles will create conversations surrounding different perspectives on the experience of being a Christian woman.
From my best guess, what I believe this means is that this list of resources was compiled by official employees of Biola University, from this specific dorm SoHo. In other words, this display was not compiled by rogue students.
When I looked in the address bar, I saw this.
I wondered if “ramsey jeanty” was a person’s name. So, I Google’d it. Yup. It’s the Resident Director of the dorm. Again, paid staff at Biola. Here is his public LinkedIn page that verifies his position at Biola.
I then clicked on the “LOVING OUR LGBTQ+ SISTERS” page. (UPDATE: As of the publication of this post on 4/29/21, this web site was still active. It was removed, however, within 12 hours of this post going live.)
Here are links to the list of suggested resources:
Biola's statement on Sexuality & Relationships
A Christian Conversation Guide (published by the Human Rights Campaign, a decidedly non-Christian organization that is actually fairly hostile to historic Chritianity and its understanding of sexuality)
Embracing Our Transgender Neighbors on God’s Terms (an article from Christianity Today)
We’re Here Too (an article by a transgender woman; no Christian perspective)
Due to space and time constraints, I will not list out every concern here. But feel free to click through the links for yourself.
I do, however, want to briefly highlight the fourth bullet point, We're Here Too. This resource clearly invites young people to adopt and support LGBTQ+ / Queer Theory. Now, I am not saying that those struggling in their sexual identity should be ostracized or abused. However, there is a difference between helping someone who is struggling with sin and adopting a framework that says a sinful lifestyle should be supported and encouraged.
Here are the three calls to action put forth in this article:
1. “Normalizing Pronouns: When we put our pronouns in an email signature, or say them after introducing ourselves, we are sending a very clear message: These are the pronouns I use to refer to myself, and you should be using them too.”
2. “Understand That Coming Out Is An Everyday Process (and that we need help doing it): To be transgender is, to some extent, accepting that a key part of your identity will always be out of that balance [...] Treat trans women like women, treat trans men like men, and treat non-binary folks like human beings free of the gender binary. Our trans identity is not something most of us want erased, but we do want to be treated like normal people.”
Again, I am not advocating for the mistreatment of trans individuals. My concern here is that Christian young people are being invited to see the lifestyle of LGBTQ+ as ordinary and normal, and not as sin as it is defined in Scripture.
3. “Being Vocal About Trans Rights: We need our cis allies to help us fight these [anti-transgender legislation]. If you are aware of anti-trans practices in the workplace, whether that be from a client or a coworker, or you hear about anti-trans laws being considered, we need you to step up. Donate to charities like the Trans Lifeline or Lambda Legal, read up on the legislation when it’s discussed in the media, call your representatives and tell them it is untenable to treat trans folks this way.”
The display was up for the ENTIRE MONTH of March.
Share Your Pronouns
Two female students, from different dorm floors in the same dorm, reported to us last week that they were asked to declare their pronouns as part of the “get to know you” survey from their R.A.s, earlier in the semester. Other questions included their favorite foods and such.
They were moving into an all-female dorm. The girls had different R.A.s, but the same Residence Director. This causes us to assume that it was a question for all women who moved into that dorm.
One of them told us, “My immediate thought was, 'I thought this was Biola. I didn’t know we did that sort of thing here.'” The other woman said that she expected the dorm to be a place of camaraderie and spiritual support. Instead, it had a definite vibe of “woman power and social justice.”
One student is still enrolled at Biola. The other withdrew, saying, “Biola was simply ‘too liberal’ and completely different than what was presented to me and my mother during the Admissions process.”
Why am I writing this?
Before anyone sends me a message to ask: Yes, I have already met multiple times with multiple Biola administrators to alert them to similar problems. And yes, I’m aware that they made a public statement last fall against Critical Theory. And, yes, I have actually stepped away from Talbot, Biola’s seminary. I am no longer a student at Biola because of the acceptance of the Critical Social Theories.
HOWEVER, there are many young people being impacted by an unbiblical framework and encouraged to live out unbiblical ideologies. Biola has hired multiple faculty and staff who see principles of Critical Theory on the spectrum of Christian faithfulness. And those people are still employed.
I have talked to several parents who have raised concerns about these issues with Biola administrators. But they are consistently told that everything is fine. When one mother tried to express her concern about these matters and the impact it was having on her child, the Chief Diversity Officer recommended that she read the book, Being White. (Sidebar: This same book was also handed out to faculty a few years ago to read as part of their development.) The reality is, however, Biola has hired staff and faculty who are